Human remains found in Crown Point pond preliminarily identified as missing Avon woman Najah Ferrell

CROWN POINT, Ind.-- Police in northwestern Indiana believe a human foot found in a pond may be that of a missing Avon woman.

Police responded to the scene Monday afternoon after a fisherman reported catching what appeared to be a foot. Crown Point police Chief Pete Land said officers on the scene confirmed the remains were human.

Najah Ferrell

Avon police believe the remains belong to Najah Ferrell, who was reported missing several weeks ago. Avon police are working with Crown Point investigators and Ferrell's family knows of the update. However, police are waiting on the results of DNA tests.

"We did find out that the human remains that were located did have a tattoo," said Brian Nugent, Deputy Chief of the Avon Police Department. "So at that point our investigators began examining that evidence itself and trying to make a preliminary declaration, identification that it might be that of Najah Ferrell."

Still, they don’t know what happened to her. Police have served more than 30 search warrants for electronic records, vehicles and homes. They’ve conducted about 40 interviews.

Monday and Tuesday, investigators scoured the retention pond using sonar, divers and a drone. The pond sits along the interstate exit ramp and a neighborhood backs up to it. 
"Shocking, it's Crown Point, Indiana. It's disturbing that it's a 30-year old mother. That's really sad. It makes you wonder," one neighbor said. 

Ferrell has three foster children and two biological children. She had just started a job at Panera before her disappearance. Her family said she would never leave them willingly.

Police are planning to continue searching in a nearby pond. There's no evidence to lead them to believe it's involved, but they want to make sure there is nothing else in it.

Avon police say it appears the case is shifting from a missing persons case to a death investigation. They will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 1 p.m. to discuss the case.

Police are still asking anyone with information about Ferrell's disappearance to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Callers can remain anonymous.

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